Sony to spend $372 mln to boost battery production

TOKYO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronics maker Sony Corp 6758.T said on Monday it would spend 40 billion yen ($372 million) to boost its production capacity for lithium-ion batteries by 80 percent by 2010. Sony's lithium-ion battery output capacity will reach 74 million cells a month by the end of 2010 from 41 million now. The new investment comes on top of the 20 billion yen Sony allocated in the three years that ended in March.

Sony competes with Sanyo Electric Co Ltd 6764.T and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd 6752.T in lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power laptop computers, mobile phones, digital cameras and many other portable electronic devices.

A typical PC battery pack is made up of several battery cells.

Prior to the announcement, shares in Sony closed down 2.4 percent at 4,000 yen, underperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index .IELEC.T, which fell 2.1 percent. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka)